Thursday, August 10, 2006

World Trade Center issues

Oliver Stone's tribute to American heroism, "World Trade Center," which opened a couple of weeks ago, raised several issues among movie buffs.

One was whether it's too soon or whether it's worth going through that pain again. I feel it's not too soon and the movie is worth the discomfort. One significant point a Denver critic raised was that the movie has a lot of humor in it and that watching two cops trapped in rubble actually is much more watchable that you'd expect.

Another point will be discussed next year at Oscar time. Is it politically incorrect to dislike this movie? I happened to think it was very good, marred only by the miscasting of Nicolas Cage in a key role.

But as an Academy voter, can you really vote against this movie? Wouldn't you be voting against America? Against heroism? Against New York?

What do you think?

I'd love to also hear from cops and firefighters after you've seen the film. What did you think?

My wife had an interesting question: weren't there any women officers and firefighters on the scene? Stone's movie doesn't think so.


At 10:52 PM, Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

World Trade Center is a well-intentioned, old-fashioned, sincere movie that disappoints because it cannot overcome its cloying sentimentality, obvious manufactured rhythms, and plodding, even monotonous trajectory. Where United 93 was an authentic and harrowing account of that horrible day in September, World Trade Center is a film-by-numbers movie, steeped in convention and lacking any sort of power to surprise or overwhelm. United 93, about events peripheral to the destruction of the Twin Towers is by far the superior film. The great film about New York City's agony has yet to be made. (Let's just pray that Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay don't decide to try their hand at it sometime, a la Pearl Harbor. That film would make World Trade Center look like a masterpeice by comparison.)

I have no problem that World Trade Center was made in the first place. Artists should and must confront the great, gaping wounds of our time. It's odd that Hollywood gets attacked by jeers of "too soon!" by the same people who don't bat an eyelash at the songs, paintings, poems and novels written about the same events. Such is the transcendent power of film.

This is certainly not the film about 9/11 that any of us expected Oliver Stone to make. Never an easy filmmaker to digest--even if you like his body of work--Stone here becomes at palatable and artistic as Rob Howard. It's not that any of us actually wanted to see a Stone 9/11 film steeped in conspiracy and controversy--but in reigning himself in from his dispositions, it is almost as if he cut himself off from the source of his power--both creatively and philosophically.


Post a Comment

<< Home